Many homeowners use boilers to heat their entire home. As the heat gets pumped throughout your home, usually the only thing you ever touch is the thermostat on your wall to set your room temperature. However, there are a few telltale signs that your boiler may be in need of repair. Signs that you don't want to ignore—no heat, water leaks, and unusual noise—could mean costly trouble if not quickly repaired.
What to Look for if There's No Heat
If you find yourself waking up to a cold house, the most likely culprit is that your boiler's pilot light is out. This happens especially with boilers in older, drafty homes where airflow can blow out the flame. There are usually instructions on the boiler that tell you how to relight it. If the instructions aren't on the boiler itself, check the manual. If you no longer have the manual, many times it will be online. Use your boiler's serial number and manufacturer to search for it.
Other possible, and often more serious, issues are that the thermostat may need to be replaced or that the circulation pump is malfunctioning. Thermostats keep the temperature in your boiler set at a certain point for uniform heating. If the boiler thermostat isn't working, it can usually be replaced by the homeowner. Smart thermostats will need professional replacement. If you suspect a circulation pump problem, you can often fix minor issues on older boilers yourself. Newer boilers have pumps that may need speed and flow calibrated, which requires a professional.
Water Leaks Can Cause Low Pressure
If you are seeing water leakage, you are probably noticing lower water pressure throughout your home. Often you will see a puddle of water on the floor next to your boiler, although leaks can come from both the top and bottom of the boiler. Boilers have a safety switch that will cut off power if it senses low water pressure. This keeps your boiler from overheating.
Boilers use radiant heat to heat your home using a closed system where water flows through your home's pipes. Radiant heat tends to be pretty quiet. If you are hearing clanging, thumping, gurgling, or any unusual noise associated with your heating, it is time to get your boiler evaluated by your plumbing professional. It could be that your boiler needs descaling from accumulated mineral deposits or that there is air in the system.
It's good to make it a habit to check your boiler now and again, just like you check the oil on your car. A little preventive maintenance can keep your boiler from major repair or replacement.
For more information, contact a company that offers boiler repair services.